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Is a raw food diet good for dogs?

Dr Pete Wedderburn / 05 April 2019

A reader is considering feeding their dog a raw food diet. Veterinarian Dr Pete Wedderburn advises.

Raw food for a dog
Raw food has become increasingly popular with dog owners

Question: is a raw food diet good for dogs?

I’ve heard there are lots of benefits to feeding my dog a raw food diet. Would it be a good idea?


Raw meat and bones diets are popular among people who believe in “pure” and “natural” ways of living, but there is poor evidence for benefits for most pets, and plenty of evidence of real risks.

Specifically, raw meat for pets can carry dangerous bacteria like Salmonella that can affect humans, so it’s very important to take rigorous hygienic measures when handling it. Also, raw diets in the USA have been linked to nutrition-related heart disease in some dogs, and raw diets in the UK have been linked to cats picking up Tuberculosis. It’s safest to speak to your vet before starting to use this type of diet.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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